You Can’t Change That – Raydio – 1979

March 25, 2016

Raydio - you can't change that - 1979Ray Parker Jr’s band before Ghostbusters and his 80s solo career – Raydio had a hit back in 1979 with You Can’t Change That.

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  • Formed by Ray Parker, Jr., Vincent Bohnam, Jerry Knight, and Arnell Carmichael, American funk band, Raydio rocked the airwaves between 1977 and 1981.
  • Raydio 2Raydio’s first hit, Jack and Jill, was taken from their self-titled debut album; it peaked at #8 on the US singles charts and #11 on the UK singles chart. 
  • The band released four albums and had three top ten hits in the USA; Jack and Jill, You Can’t Change That and A Woman Needs Love (Just Like You Do).
  • In 1980, Raydio’s name was extended to Ray Parker Jr. and Raydio.  Just a year later Ray declared his intention to go solo and the band split.
  • Ray went on to have a successful solo career, scoring six top 40 hits throughout the 1980s – the most successful being Ghostbusters, which sat at #1 in the US for three weeks in 1984.
  • Raydio 1Meanwhile, Jerry Knight played solo for a while before forming Ollie & Jerry, with Ollie E. Brown.  They had a couple of hits including Electric Boogaloo from the movie Breakin’ 2.

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  • You Can’t Change That was written by Ray Parker Jr and first appeared on Raydio’s album, Rock On.
  • It was released as a single in 1979 and peaked at #8 on the US singles chart.  It failed to make the UK charts.
  • In September 1979, Raydio participated in an anti-nuclear concert at Madison Square Garden. Their performance of You Can’t Change That at this show appears on the No Nukes album.
  • You Can’t Change That lyrics.

you can’t change that – raydio – 1979 – video


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Watermelon Man – Herbie Hancock – 1973

March 19, 2016

Herbie Hancock watermelon man 1973It’s a tune everybody’s heard but many people don’t know the name of—Herbie Hancock’s, Watermelon Man.  First released in 1962 then reworked and re-released a little over a decade later.

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  • Born in Chicago in 1940, Herbie Hancock was named after a favourite singer of the time, Herb Jeffries
  • Herbie was considered a child musical prodigy commencing classical piano lessons at seven years of age.  At 11 years old, he played the first movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 26 in D Major, K. 537 (Coronation) at a young people’s concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
  • Herbie Hancock 3He studied at Grinnell College and graduated with degrees in electrical engineering and music—the latter being his real love.
  • After working with jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd, Herbie joined the Miles Davis Quintet where he is credited with being one of the primary architects of the post-bop sound—he was one of the first jazz musicians to embrace synthesizers and funk music.
  • Herbie’s best-known compositions include Cantaloupe Island and Watermelon Man.
  • Herbie’s awards include: the 1986 Original Soundtrack Oscar, for Round Midnight and 14 Grammy Awards including 2008’s Album of the Year for River: The Joni Letters – one of only two jazz albums to ever win the Album of the Year Grammy.
  • Herbie has released over 50 albums and, at 75 years old, continues to perform today.

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  • Herbie Hancock 1Watermelon Man was written by Herbie Hancock and first released on his 1962 debut album, Takin’ Off.  He then radically re-worked the tune releasing a funked-up version on his 1973 album, Head Hunters.
  • In the meantime, in 1963, Cuban percussionist Mongo Santamaría released the tune as a Latin pop single.  It reached #10 on the US single charts and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.
  • Watermelon Man is said to have been covered by over 200 artists including: The tune is a jazz standard and has been recorded over two hundred times.
  • Jazz lyricist Jon Hendricks set words to Watermelon Man, releasing his version in 1963.  That version has been covered by Stevie Wonder, Manfred Mann, Bill Haley & His Comets, and The J.B.’s, James Brown’s backing band.
  • Herbie’s Head Hunters recording has been sampled in a number of tunes including: LL-Cool-J’s, 1-900-LL-Cool-J; and Madonna’s, Sanctuary.
  • Watermelon Man is also a popular tune amongst ska bands.
  • Watermelon Man lyrics (not written by Herbie Hancock).

watermelon man – herbie hancock – 1973

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Full Circle – The Byrds – 1973

March 3, 2016

The byrds full circle 1973While their influence on rock music cannot be denied, by the beginning of the 1970s, The Byrds’ popularity was waning.  During the 60s, however, they had multiple hits including two #1’s (Mr Tambourine Man and Turn! Turn! Turn!) and the psychedelic Eight Miles High.  Full Circle was released in 1973 and again in the UK in 1975, their last single release.

The byrds 3the byrds fax

  • Formed in Los Angeles in 1964, The Byrds underwent multiple line-up changes during the various metamorphoses.  They performed from 1964–73, between 1989–91, and 2000 (for the Fred Walecki tribute concert).
  • The Byrds’ one constancy was frontman Roger McGuinn.  Other members included: Gene Clark, David Crosby, Chris Hillman, Gram Parsons and Gene Parsons.
  • It’s often suggested the band went through three stages: a folk rock stage from 1964 – 1965, a ppsychedelia from late 1965 to 1967, and a country rock stage from 1968 – 1973.  One thing that went unchanged in all those years was the band’s popularity with them being mentioned alongside names like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan.
  • The byrds 1Many bands have listed The Byrds as being among their influences.  These include: Eagles, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, R.E.M., the Bangles, and the Smiths.
  • In January 1991, the Byrds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  It was the final time that all five original members performed together; Roger McGuinn, Dave Crosby, Chris Hillman, Gene Clark (died of a heart attack in 1991), and Michael Clarke (died of liver failure in 1993).
  • In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine listed The Byrds at #45 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
  • The Byrds’ biggest hit single was the first single (and title track) from their first album; Mr Tambourine Man.

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  • The byrds 2Sometimes called Full Circle Song, Full Circle was written by Gene Clark of The Byrds in 1972.
  • Full Circle Song originally appeared on Gene’s solo album Roadmaster (1973), which was initially released only in the Netherlands.  Full Circle was then included on The Byrds’ 1973 reunion album, Byrds.
  • The Byrds’ version of Full Circle was released in the US on April 11, 1973 and peaked at #109.  It was re-released in the UK on August 8, 1975 – it failed to chart.
  • Dan Fogelberg covered the song on his 2003 album, Full Circle.
  • Full Circle lyrics.

full circle – the byrds – 1973

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